The mutagenic effects of X- and UV-irradiation on human lymphocytes were studied using a highly efficient cloning technique. The hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl-transferase enzyme locus was used to study mutation induction, with mutant cells being selected by their ability to form a clone in the presence of the purine analogue 6-thioguanine. Mutation dose-response curves for X- and UV-irradiation were established by studying lymphocytes from 11 individuals on day 10 after irradiation. The mean mutation frequency of unirradiated lymphocytes was 2.9 × 10-6 and there were dose-dependent increase to 9.5 × 10-5 after 400 rad of X-irradiation, and to 5.6 × 10-5 after 125 erg/mm2 of UV. The expression time of X-ray-induced mutations was 3-7 days. Dose-responses were obtained for mutation frequency and survival following X-irradiation of proliferating and non-proliferating lymphocytes from 8 individuals. Compared with non-proliferating lymphocytes, the proliferating lymphocytes developed fewer mutations but had a greater mortality after irradiation.